Communist Party of Vietnam holds 13th Central Committee plenum

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam will conclude its 13th plenum in Hanoi today. According to Vietnam’s

Vietnam Tran Hai NDO

Photo: Tran Hai/NDO

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam will conclude its 13th plenum in Hanoi today.

According to Vietnam’s General Statistics Office, 31.8 million Vietnamese have suffered economically this year through September from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Job losses and furloughs have reduced working hours and led to the nation’s labour force shrinking by 1.2 million workers. While GDP has grown at least 6% every year since 2012, this year Vietnam’s growth is expected to fall to 2%.

Vietnamese economic planners face a dilemma: begin to reopen the country and face a potential spike in COVID-19 cases, or continue to internally weather the storm. Hanoi’s decision to close Vietnam’s borders has adversely affected trade, complicated foreign investment and contributed to a near-collapse in Vietnam’s vital international tourism industry. On the other hand, the country’s Ministry of Planning and Investment has forecast that it could take as long as four years for the world economy to fully recover from the pandemic.

Expect this dilemma to largely shape current and future debate in Vietnam over the economic projection of the country. Given the extent to which current virus-prevention measures have kept COVID-19 out of Vietnam, expect a cost-benefit analysis to yield general support for maintaining the status quo.

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